Historic Devon Guide

by Ben Johnson

Facts about Devon

Population: 1,135,000
Famous for: Sandy beaches, Dartmoor, fishing villages
Distance from London: 3 – 4 hours
Local delicacies: Cream teas, fish and chips, white pudding, ice cream
Airports: Exeter
County town: Exeter
Nearby Counties: Cornwall, Somerset

Welcome to Devon, home to the Devonshire cream tea and the English Riviera. This most English of counties boasts both a north and south coast, and has one of the mildest climates in Britain. It is a land of coasts and moors, tiny fishing villages and bustling seaside resorts.

Devon is home to two national parks, Exmoor and Dartmoor. Dartmoor is famous for its crags and granite ‘tors’, wild Dartmoor ponies, standing stones and prehistoric remains. Exmoor with its peat moors is Lorna Doone country. Both offer great walking and trekking opportunities for visitors.

The ‘English Riviera’ is a name given to part of the south Devon coast and includes three seaside resorts; Paignton, Torquay and Brixham. Of these Brixham is perhaps the least developed and still clusters around its old harbour.

At the mouth of the beautiful River Dart on the south coast of Devon, you will find historic Dartmouth with its Naval College. The city of Plymouth is also famous for its naval tradition; it was here on Plymouth Hoe that Sir Francis Drake played his famous game of bowls whilst awaiting the arrival of the Spanish Armada. The city of Exeter dates back to Roman times and boasts a historic centre with plenty of shops and boutiques for some retail therapy.

On the rugged north coast the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth are connected by an unusual Victorian water powered cliff railway. Just outside Lynton you will also find the spectacular ‘Valley of the Rocks’ with its wild – but friendly – goats.

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